ESE MSX System 3 information

Written by Albert Beevendorp and Patriek Lesparre.

Contents

  1. DIP switches
  2. Special keys
  3. USB ports
  4. Loading System ROMs from SD-card
  5. Known issues
  6. VGA Connector pin-out
  7. Programming the FPGA with a cable
  8. Software
  9. Slot layout
  10. SDRAM layout
  11. Using disk images
  12. ESE-RAM and ESE-SCC

DIP switches

The dipswitch block on the bottom side of the ESE3 (held sideways) looks a bit like this:

ON
12345678
1 and 2- initial video output select (can be cycled with PrtScr key)
  ⇓ ⇓ = Composite Video and S-Video
  ⇓ ⇑ = 15 kHz RGB (SCART)
  ⇑ ⇓ = 31 kHz VGA
  ⇑ ⇑ = 31 kHz VGA (high luminance)
3- red cinch select
  ⇓ = data recorder input/output
  ⇑ = sound output (emulated sound only)
4- keyboard
  ⇓ = 106/109 keys, direct japanese layout
  ⇑ = 101/104 keys, converted from international layout
5- disk rom
  ⇓ = off
  ⇑ = on, SD/MMC as drive
6- CPU clock select
  ⇓ = 3.58 MHz
  ⇑ = 10.74 MHz
7 and 8- primary slot 2
  ⇓ ⇓ = normal cartridge slot
  ⇓ ⇑ = ESE3-SCC: 512K+SCC-I
  ⇑ ⇓ = ESE-RAM: 512K+ASCII8
  ⇑ ⇑ = ESE-RAM: 512K+ASCII16

Special keys

Page UpMaster volume +
Page DownMaster volume -
F9PSG volume +
Shift + F9PSG volume -
F10SCC volume +
Shift + F10SCC volume -
F11OPLL volume +
Shift + F11OPLL volume -
F12Cycle VDP debug: Normal display > VBlank Interrupt duration > Line Interrupt duration > Sprite reveal > Fixed palette > VDP registers
PrtScrCycle video output (see dip 1 and 2)

USB ports

With the currently available FPGA code, the USB ports only act as a power source. So you can use it to recharge USB devices, or power USB lights and fans. To connect a USB keyboard, use a USB to PS/2 convertor (Note: Some USB to PS/2 convertors only work for mice)

Loading System ROMs from SD-card

Description of the boot procedure (IPL ROM)

Known issues

VGA Connector pin-out

Programming the FPGA with a cable

If you accidentally programmed a non-working .pld into the FPGA, you can reprogram it directly by way of an internal connector on the ESE3, marked J14. This connector provides access to the FPGA chip using the 'active serial' protocol. (Note: JTAG and 'passive serial' are not supported!)

Here is a schematic for a Parallel port digital ByteBlaster II cable, provided by Edwin Velds, which can be used for this purpose.

The user guide for this cable can be found here. You can get the Altera Quartus II Programmer software here.

Software

Download the ESE3 software here. Here's a description of the most interesting files:

For compiling and synthesizing the VHDL source code you will need Altera's Quartus II Web Edition software. Version 8.0 has been reported to have problems, so please download version 7 here.

Slot layout

0-0Main ROM32 kB
0-2FM-BIOS16 kB
1External
2External or ESE-SCC/RAM512 kB
3-0Memory Mapper1024 kB
3-1Sub ROM16 kB
3-2MegaSD64 kB
3-3IPL ROM512 bytes

SDRAM layout

0000000-03FFFFF-- unused --4096 kB
0400000-04FFFFFMemory mapped RAM1024 kB
0500000-05FFFFF-- unused --1024 kB
0600000-067FFFFESE-SCC/RAM512 kB
0680000-068FFFFMegaSD64 kB
0690000-0697FFFMain ROM32 kB
0698000-069BFFFSub ROM16 kB
069C000-069FFFFFM-BIOS16 kB
06A0000-06BFFFFKanji ROM128 kB
06C0000-06FFFFF-- unused --256 kB
0700000-071FFFFVRAM128 kB
0720000-1FFFFFF-- unused --25472 kB

Using disk images

Using DIP switch 5, the Mega-SD support can be switched on or off. It has support to emulate a floppy disk drive with a disk switch option. An extra table is kept with room for up to 16 disk images. A disk image can be connected to a drive letter, so it's possible to access the disk image as if it was a real diskette. To use the feature there's a tool available on the CD-ROM called EP.COM. It's located in the TOOLS\DiskImage directory.

EP.COM adds a disk image to the table and either connects it to a drive letter for direct use or prepares it for a multi-disk use. Disk images can be made read-only when adding it to the list. Remember to keep a game's user disk write enabled.

To switch a disk image, keep the KANA key (F7 on a PS/2 keyboard) pressed while pressing the key to continue loading. The CAPS LOCK LED will blink indicating it's ready for the key on the numeric pad indicating the required disk. A table of the key and the corresponding disk image number is displayed below:

keynumber
00
11
22
33
44
55
66
77
88
99
.A (10)
,B (11)
+C (12)
-D (13)
*E (14)
/F (15)

It's only possible to use a drive letter assigned to the Mega-SD to connect to a disk image. Some disk image connect examples:

Single-disk example: Undeadline (filename UNDEAD.DSK):

Multi-disk example 1: Ancient Ys Vanished The Final Chapter (filenames YS2-PROG.DSK and YS2-DATA.DSK, in that order on the disk):

Multi-disk example 2: Xak - The Tower of Gazzel (GAZZEL1.DSK, GAZZEL2.DSK, GAZZEL3.DSK and GAZZEL4.DSK, in any order on the disk):

  1. EP GAZZEL1.DSK /B /D
    First an existing table is cleared (with /D) and the disk image is added and set as boot disk.
  2. EP GAZZEL2.DSK
    The disk image is added to the table.
  3. EP GAZZEL3.DSK
    The disk image is added to the table.
  4. EP GAZZEL4.DSK /R
    The disk image is added to the table, and the system will reboot using the disk emulator to boot the disk. The table will look like this:
    0 : GAZZEL1.DSK
    1 : GAZZEL2.DSK
    2 : GAZZEL3.DSK
    3 : GAZZEL4.DSK

Multi-disk example 3: Aleste 2 (filenames ALESTE2D.DSK, ALESTE21.DSK and ALESTE22.DSK, in that order on the disk):

Multi-disk example 4: SD-Snatcher (filenames SDSNATUS.DSK, SDSNAT1.DSK, SDSNAT2.DSK and SDSNAT3.DSK, in any order on the disk):

  1. EP SDSNATUS.DSK /D
    The table is cleared and the user disk image is added.
  2. EP SDSNAT1.DSK /B /W
    The disk image is added to the table, set to read-only (with /W) and set as boot disk.
  3. EP SDSNAT2.DSK /W
    The disk image is added to the table and set to read-only.
  4. EP SDSNAT3.DSK /R /W
    The disk image is added to the table and set to read-only, and the system will reboot using the disk emulator to boot the disk. The table will look like this:
    0 : SDSNATUS.DSK
    1 : SDSNAT1.DSK
    2 : SDSNAT2.DSK
    3 : SDSNAT3.DSK

The disk images must be unfragmented on the disk to work. This will be checked by EP just before it's added to the table.

ESE-RAM and ESE-SCC

Using DIP switches 7 and 8 the function of slot 2 can be selected. Setting them up to both off, the second cartridge slot is available (to access through slot), otherwise one of the ESE-RAM or ESE3-SCC is enabled in slot 2. When one of those devices are enabled, there is 512 kB RAM extra which is mapped by the device selected. This can be the SCC, ASCII 8kB or ASCII 16kB. The RAM can be used to load MegaROM files. For this there's a tool available on the CD-ROM called MGLOAD.COM. It's archived in BU951030.LZH which is located in the TOOLS\DiskImage\reference directory.

MGLOAD.COM detects the used MegaROM mapper and then loads the file in the RAM. It doesn't detect in which slot the device is and therefore the user is required to provide this slot. In this case it's slot 2. Some examples:

Example 1: load Zanac-Ex (filename ZANAC-EX.ROM):

  1. Set up the ESE-RAM ASCII 16 kB mode (DIP 7 on, DIP 8 on).
  2. Switch on the ESE3.
  3. In MSX-DOS, type MGLOAD ZANAC-EX.ROM /S02

Example 2: load Mon Mon Monster (filename MONMON.ROM):

  1. Set up the ESE-RAM ASCII 8 kB mode (DIP 7 on, DIP 8 off).
  2. Switch on the ESE3.
  3. In MSX-DOS, type MGLOAD MONMON.ROM /S02

Example 3: load Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake (filename SSNAKE.ROM):

  1. Set up the ESE3-SCC mode (DIP 7 off, DIP 8 on).
  2. Switch on the ESE3.
  3. In MSX-DOS, type MGLOAD SSNAKE.ROM /S02

The /S02 refers to the slot of the ESE-RAM. It's possible to play non MegaROM titles with the device as well. ESE3-SCC is best suited to run those titles. As MGLOAD doesn't restore mapper banks to the initial state, a reset of the ESE3 after loading is required to start it.

Alternatively, you can use ROMLOAD for ROM images in SCC mode.


© by Patriek Lesparre. Hosted by The New Image.